Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for April 21st, 2021

The GOP’s Mob Tactics

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Judd Legum reports at Popular Information, and his report on Sen. Rick Scott’s publicly expressed attitude is damning. Here’s just an extract — do read the whole thing.

. . . Scott is not just a Senator pushing false claims about voter fraud. He is also the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which is responsible for electing more Republicans to the Senate. Scott was counting on corporate money to support this effort.

Scott vented his frustrations in a screed posted on the Fox Business website. Scott accuses corporations writ large of “lying to Americans” and promises that when Republicans take back the Senate, “it will be a day of reckoning.”

You give the woke mob concession after concession, hoping to buy time to rake in more cash under your watch. You feed the rabble leftist mob that is shouting that America is racist, hoping they won’t come for you.

…Let me give you woke corporate leaders a heads-up: Everybody can see the game you are playing. Everybody can see your lies. You are the naked emperor.

You are, in fact, morally inferior to the working men and women of this great country, who are not racist people, and who, unlike you, care about truth.

And here is another bit of news for you: There is a massive backlash coming. You will rue the day when it hits you. That day is November 8, 2022. That is the day Republicans will take back the Senate and the House. It will be a day of reckoning.

Ostensibly, Scott claims that once Republicans reclaim control of the Senate they will “make corporate welfare a thing of the past.” But if he is truly interested in that, it’s unclear why he has to wait until 2022. As Steve Benen notes, Scott could “work with the Democratic majority to scale back corporate welfare right now.”

But Scott seems less interested in public policy than mob-style threats. The message is  . .. .

Written by Leisureguy

21 April 2021 at 2:07 pm

FTC Nominee Lina Khan Fires a Warning Shot at Big Tech – “Potential Criminal Activity” – and Senators from Both Parties Love It

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Matt Stoller writes in BIG:

Today was Lina Khan’s nominating hearing for her slot as a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, which is one of America’s antitrust enforcement agencies. Khan is known as a rock star of antitrust, and for good reason. She helped lead the 16-month investigation of big tech firms by the House Antitrust Subcommittee, and before that she wrote one of the most important law review articles in recent history, Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.

That piece, as Senator Amy Klobuchar noted while introducing Khan, went viral, and helped reframe how we understand antitrust and competition law. To have Khan as a nominee for an enforcement slot is therefore quite significant. Her testimony today was crisp and effective, with none of the filler-style chatter you hear from most bureaucrats (words like ‘stakeholder’ and ‘engagement’ come to mind). She was on a panel with other nominees for other agencies, like Bill Nelson to be the head of NASA. And she was so impressive that reporters covering other beats took notice.

There were a couple of notable takeaways.

  • In response to a question from Senator Maria Cantwell on the decline of local news and its relationship with Google and Facebook, Khan warned of ‘potential criminal activity’ in online advertising markets. She was referencing the Texas Attorney General suit against Google, which found price-fixing in how Google and Facebook organize auctions for advertising space. The FTC doesn’t have authority to pursue criminal suits, but it was still an eyebrow raising moment.

  • Senator Amy Klobuchar asked Khan about app stores, because there’s a hearing in the afternoon on the monopoly power of Google and Apple. Khan seemed to argue there are dominant gatekeepers, and that it’s clear “certain terms and conditions appear to lack any beneficial justifications.” We’ve already seen action in states, but it seems like app stores are one of the first places we’ll see real movement on policy to break monopoly power.

  • The only opposition to Khan came from Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, who dismissed her as inexperienced, and from Republican Senator Mike Lee, who asked whether she’d have to recuse herself from big tech cases on the basis that she pre-judged them. Lee was basically defending the status quo.

  • Other than Blackburn and Lee, both Republicans and Democrats seemed to appreciate Khan’s approach. Republican Senator Roger Wicker, for instance, asked for her views on Clarence Thomas’ opinions on big tech and common carriage. They went back and forth on the problem of big tech, and you wouldn’t know which was a Democrat and which was a Republican. Here’s conservative organizer Rachel Bovard.

And here’s a reporter for Morning Consult:

The most important thing to know about Lina Khan is that she is at heart an investigative journalist. When she was 15, she did a story on Starbucks for her school newspaper, and it got picked up by the New York Times. Before she became a lawyer, she did investigations on everything from the rise of big chocolate to airlines to poultry to banks to Monsanto’s appetite for data.

Her law review piece on Amazon came out of research she did on the economy as a news gatherer, and the investigation of big tech for the Antitrust Subcommittee was basically just high-quality journalism. Khan has what is necessary in a great enforcer and regulator, which is a sense of curiosity about how the world works. She starts with empirical reality, asking what’s happening in business and how it is shaped by the law.

Khan will be just one of five votes, so . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

21 April 2021 at 12:12 pm

Cedarwood shave with the wonderful Fendrihan Mk II

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I used again the bunny brush. Though cute, the handle is only so-so in practice, and no because it’s small. Small handles can be quite effective — cf. the Wee Scot’s handle, or the handle of Omega’s Mighty Midget. The egg-shaped handle, though, does not offer the requisite indent for a good grip. Still: cute. It may be a brush I use each Easter.

The Grooming Dept Cedarwood soap is truly excellent. It is Grooming Dept’s vegan formula, and has an impressive list of ingredients, which you can view at the link. However, I cannot resist copying just a subset of the ingredients, namely the ingredients that provide the fragrance:

Orange EO, Grapefruit EO, Ginger Lily EO, Ginger EO, Pink Pepper EO, Geranium Absolute, Rose Absolute, Howood EO, Siam Wood EO, Benzoin Resin, Carrot Seed EO, Alaska Cedarwood EO, Hiba (Japanese Cedarwood) EO, Port Orford Cedarwood EO, Styrax, Muhuhu EO, Himalayan Cedarwood EO, Virginia Cedarwood EO. Texas Hill Country Cedarwood EO, Atlas Cedarwood Absolute. Vetiver Absolute, Patchouli EO, Vanilla Co2 extract, Tonka Bean Absolute.

Grooming Dept products seem to be carefully crafted and well worth a try. You can order from the site or see this list of vendors who carry the products (and sometimes a vendor will have a product still in stock that is no longer available from the mothership, as it were — and in fact, the Henson Shaving AL13 Medium is not shown on their site, but I was able to buy it from Top of the Chain).

My stubble fully prepped (with Grooming Dept pre-shave and soap), I made quick and easy work of removing the beard with my bronze-coated Fendrihan Mk II. I followed up with a splash of Anthony Gold’s Red Cedar aftershave, and here we are, already halfway through the week.

Written by Leisureguy

21 April 2021 at 10:37 am

Posted in Shaving

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